More than one pastor has remarked to me the frustrating phenomenon of conjoined parish meetings. You know what I mean, right? Within the walls of the parish building, people can be very meek with their commentary. And often, those of us on staff who would like a vigorous discussion find ourselves enduring a deadly dull meeting, only to find that in the parking lot afterward, there is no holding back as people chat for long minutes. Why, my pastors have wondered, don’t these people open up on our time so we can get something accomplished?
Catholic blogs as a group fancy themselves a parish of sorts. So it seems that catty behavior is not beneath us. Note this discussion started by David Haas on PrayTell. Note the conjoined discussion at the members-only CMAA forum. I think Adam Wood has the measure of the CMAA in this comment to David:
I hate the idea that a bunch of anti-Haas commenters are carrying on about a text I assume is somewhat dear to you behind your back.
I’m afraid this comes off looking very badly for people who aspire to recharge Catholic sacred music with a higher set of principles.
Maureen has pretensions, and probably the ability, to be an editor, but more reading comprehension and less snark will help. Note her commentary:
I’m not sure if he was joking when he replied to Todd Flowerday’s comments on scansion that he didn’t know how to scan things on computers… though if he’s being honest, it would explain a lot….
I suppose I don’t mind getting pulled into an insult as a bystander so much, but David and I were talking about putting things on the internet in an entirely separate discussion, some of it offline. If Maureen were honest, she’d admit she zeroed in on the text and read little to nothing of the thread and commentary. If you want to be an editor, you have to cultivate relationships. If David wants to take Liam’s suggestion to get an editor, he can do far better than this. Like someone who knows the difference between GIA and OCP.
I appreciate David Haas’ willingness to step out on a limb here. Wayyyyyyyyyyy out. I guess I’m disappointed, but not surprised by the cowardly behavior to take the criticism to a more comfortable forum where musicians can wax apologetically about what David Haas music they dare to admit they like. Please. Spare us.
As for developing an internet climate in which composers and poets could share works in progress for mutual benefit, too bad CMAA has decided to pour water on that frozen street. We already know what they think about music with less than four centuries of pedigree; why would anyone bother to listen to … “I always try to fit as many words in the last line as I possibly can” … “Mary, the first Tabernacle, has now been suddenly demoted to being the first Disciple” … “I think it would be more appropriate to ‘replace’ the the (sic) lack of a Roman Catholic theological underpinning” … “Putting them together in a blender” … “At the risk of having my CMAA membership revoked, I confess …” … Their commentariat fancies itself important:
This forum garnishes more ‘legitimate’ weight in the liturgical music sphere for the Roman Rite, because it’s members seek to know and understand what the Church desires of her liturgy, uphold it and put it forward.
And then there’s the gossip angle. How’s that working for you, CMAA?